Half of all laid off workers still can’t get work

Here’s a startling statistic: According to a new Labor Department survey, half of all Americans laid off from 2007 through 2009 remain out of work by January 2010. That’s the lowest percentage since the survey began in 1984. 

You may have also heard that more than 40 percent of the 15 million unemployed have been out of work more than six months. That’s also a record high set during the recession.  The new survey shows that most of those employers now require new skills and new job duties for those positions, so even though job openings exist in your old field, you may no longer qualify for them. 

(See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101011/ap_on_bi_ge/us_tougher_jobs_5 .)

One recruiter, Rita Ashley, says that employers are not hiring “older” workers (50 +) because they are inferior and possess substandard skills. (see  http://jobsearch4execs.com/2010/10/05/why-boomers-dont-get-hired/ ). The new survey and recent news suggests otherwise:  employers are requiring existing workers to do more after cutbacks, and they don’t want to rehire, despite record profits. For instance, they may require CPAs to do bookeeping and secretarial work, or they may require the public relations specialist to do marketing.  Tech companies are now combining business analyst and system analyst positions into one job.

That’s why American workers today are doing two, three or more jobs and working longer hours, but still afraid they will get laid off.  Employers are squeezing more from their staffs to do more with less.


One thought on “Half of all laid off workers still can’t get work

  1. While I enjoy a good controversy as much as the next person, it only has value if fact based. You quote me as saying older workers are not hired because of substandard skills… Whew, as a career coach who works with many 50+ workers, I could never say that because I know better than most what INDIVIDUALS might bring to the job.

    What I did say is that younger workers are not necessarily less qualified.

    There’s a huge difference. Older workers benefit from focusing their job search on stressing their accomplishments because the competition is not age, the competition is relevant experience. Always has been.

    Rita Ashley, Career Coach
    Author: Job Search Debugged
    Author: Networking Debugged
    Twitter: @jobsearch4execs

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